Tuesday, August 19, 2008

NOT Swift-Boating McCain

Below, we talked a bit about a crazy, mean and paranoid critique of John McCain, based in part upon his military career.  Bad stuff, you'll agree.

But click the link for reasonable, friendly and balanced version of the same thing.  It's an online essay by Philip Butler, who lived across the hall from McCain at Annapolis, and was a POW for considerably longer than McCain.

Butler says many things that are worth remembering, such as: John McCain served his time as a POW with great courage, loyalty and tenacity.  But he also reminds us that this is no special qualification for being President of the United States.  (We remind our readers that when General Clark said the same thing, he was nearly torn to shreds.  That doesn't make him wrong.)  And he reminds us of the sad truth that former POWs were malnourished and abused for years on end, which as they age has meant that they have begun dying earlier than the general population.

But finally, Butler makes one point about McCain which is well known, and critically important to an evaluation of his C-in-C potential, but which nonetheless is not mentioned much these days:   

I can verify that John has an infamous reputation for being a hot head. He has a quick and explosive temper that many have experienced first hand. Folks, quite honestly that is not the finger I want next to that red button.

None of this is the sort of slanderous half-truth that the crazies deal in.  It is a sober assessment by a peer, based in part upon personal experience.  And it is worth taking seriously.

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